Happy International Women’s Day!!
Women have certainly come a long way in terms of basic rights; voting, reproductive(to a point) and job equality. However there will always be voices speaking against said rights so there is still a way to go.
The current fight for women it seems, is against rape culture and the overwhelming prevalence of abuse against women. The sheer number of sexual assaults against women in the span of a day is staggering. The jail time and even conviction rates are quite low, which sends the message that rape isn’t such a big deal. Aggressive porn also doesn’t often include disclaimers, giving the impression that these women are being abused, and liking it.
Assault against men is also prevalent but less likely to be reported on and carries its own stigmas.
Another interesting road block against equality is self-image. Women have been put up on such a pedestal and expected to look a certain way. The media has done an excellent job at keeping women docile and submissive to beauty products and form fitting attire. Anorexia and other forms of self-mutilation such as cutting and dieting are on the rise. Our culture gleans over this by promoting healthy living (working out and eating right). But the main focus is still on appearance and how you look in those jeans or bikini.
The women’s movement has done an excellent job at improving the status of women in the global north, but there is still a way to go. Specifically in the areas I mentioned, but also for our sisters in the global south. The men’s movement also needs to receive more attention in its response to the women’s movement. Men and the definition of masculinity has changed very little while femininity and expectations have been allowed to evolve. Even the idea of the men’s movement is seen as a threat tom feminism which is why it is rarely discussed. Paternal rights, gender expectations, male sexual assault issues still need to be addressed.
Bringing awareness to these issues, for both women and men is important. Although we have one day a year to collectively speak to them, women and men’s issues should be worked into everyday discussions. Equality has yet to be achieved for both genders; make it happen. Talk, research and connect.